Self-Care Strategies for Coping With Anxiety or Depression

Life with Anxiety or Depression

Living with depression or anxiety can be an extremely difficult and isolating experience, and the associated symptoms can be all-encompassing, impacting every area of life.

Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for managing depression and anxiety, there are definitely self-care strategies that can make a real difference and bring you some much needed relief.

It’s important to remember though, that using coping strategies all by themselves isn’t always enough. Sometimes outside help and professional treatment is your best course of action.

We suggest trying the tips we’ve outlined here, but remember that help is available in the form of outpatient and residential treatment for depression or anxiety, if you need it. With that, let’s get started!

What Are Anxiety and Depression Exactly?

Anxiety and depression are two mental health conditions that can have a profound impact on one’s life. Anxiety is characterized by feelings of worry, fear, and unease, while depression is marked by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in enjoyable activities.

These conditions can be caused by a variety of factors, including biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Common symptoms of anxiety and depression include difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, irritability, and lack of energy.

It’s important to remember that these conditions are treatable and seeking help from a mental health professional can make all the difference in managing symptoms and improving one’s quality of life.

Symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • Worrying
  • Fear, especially of things which aren’t an immediate danger
  • Unease and nervousness, difficulty calming down
  • An urge to isolate or discomfort from being around others
  • Insomnia/sleeplessness
  • Muscle tension, stomach aches

Symptoms of depression can include:

  • Persistent sadness, especially without a specific reason
  • A feeling of hopelessness.
  • Sense of futility, like nothing makes a difference etc.
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Losing interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Neglecting personal hygiene

Simple Self-Care Strategies for Anxiety and Depression

self-care at home -

It’s no secret that anxiety and depression can really hit our mental and physical health hard. That’s why self-care is so important. Self-care can really help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, increase our resilience, and improve our overall quality of life.

Some of these may sound simple or like they won’t be enough to make a difference, but they are scientifically proven to have benefits for both anxiety and depression.

Give them a try, you’ve got nothing to lose and there’s a good chance they will offer you at least some relief. If you find that they don’t make a big enough difference for you, that’s okay. That is what mental health treatment is for and the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic can help there, if treatment is what you need.

Remember, self-care is not selfish but necessary, and it’s never too late to start taking care of yourself.

Get Enough Sleep: Aim for 8 hours a night

Many people underestimate the importance of sleep. Just because you can ‘get by’ on 5 hours of sleep or less does not make it a good idea. Just because you’re functioning, doesn’t mean the lack of sleep isn’t contributing to depression or anxiety.

Getting enough sleep is crucial for our health and wellbeing. Not only does it help us feel more energized and productive during the day, but it also plays a vital role in our physical and mental health.

Aim for a solid 7-8 hours of sleep a night to give your body and mind the rest they need. It can be tempting to sacrifice sleep for work or other responsibilities, but a lack of sleep can lead to negative effects on our health.

Aside from depression and anxiety, a lack of sleep can lead to things like decreased immunity, mood swings, and memory problems. So, if you’re looking to prioritize your health and wellbeing, make sure to prioritize getting enough sleep each night. Your mind and body will be better for it.

Eat Healthy Meals and Snacks Throughout the Day

healthy eating habits -

Eating healthy meals and snacks throughout the day is vital to maintaining a balanced diet and keeping your body fueled with the nutrients it needs. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can play havoc with your moods. Brain health is also directly dependent on good nutrition.

Believe it or not, a poor diet can be a major contributor to some mental health problems. It’s not always easy to know what to eat, but a good rule to remember is to avoid processed foods and fast food as much as you can.

Incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your diet is a great place to start. Food with complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein will provide sustained energy without the crash.

Remember, eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. With a little planning and creativity, you can enjoy delicious and nourishing meals and snacks throughout the day and it matters more than you may think.

Exercise Regularly

No one’s saying you need to become a gym rat or a triathlete, but it is very important to get some regular exercise and there’s no question it helps mental health. Exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body and releases endorphins, which are natural “feel good” chemicals.

This might sound silly, but if you’re in a low mood, try drinking a couple glasses of cold water and going for a brisk 20-30 minute walk. We’re not going to tell you that is going to solve all your problems, but we can just about guarantee you will feel better than you did before.

Now imagine making exercise a regular part of your routine. You could receive those benefits all the time. If you’re someone who lives with depression or anxiety, that could pay off in spades.

Whether it’s biking, hiking, lifting weights or a gentle yoga class, finding an activity that you enjoy and committing to it can make a seriously big difference in your overall well being.

If you’ve been sedentary for a while, the first couple of weeks might be a little tough getting going, but you will see benefits right away and if you stick with it, it gets easier and more enjoyable.

Help for Depression and Anxiety

Self-care practices are important for absolutely everyone. If you’re living with depression or anxiety though, it becomes even more important. Because your condition can sometimes mean self-care gets neglected and because a lack of it can make your condition worse.

Of course if you’ve got clinical depression or a diagnosed anxiety disorder a brisk walk and a bottle of water are not going to solve all your problems.

This is where mental health treatment comes in. If you or someone you love is living with the symptoms of depression or anxiety, help is available. You’re not alone unless you choose to be. Call Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic at (772) 444-8822.

We can help you get a handle on your mental health and transform your life for the better, one day at a time.

Begin the first day of the rest of your life

To find out more contact our team


Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine